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Broadband boost is vital South Holland business

Better broadband connections will help South Holland to attract new businesses, according to a key industry body.

Lightspeed Broadband has announced it hopes to rollout gigabit broadband in Spalding, Holbeach and Long Sutton. If installed, users would get internet speeds that are about 25 times the current average across South Holland.

The news was welcomed by ukFPN Lincolnshire - an industry body that brings together key players in the fresh produce sector.

Freshlinc, in Wardentree Park, where there is a new border facility. (45847034)
Freshlinc, in Wardentree Park, where there is a new border facility. (45847034)

It says that it will help businesses in the sector to grow - and could attract new firms and jobs.

Angie Stuart, head of fresh produce at ukFPN, said: “For too long South Holland has suffered from the slowest broadband in the country and has been at the bottom of the table in Lincolnshire for download speeds for some, so we are absolutely delighted to hear of this new development for the area.

“When we ask businesses about barriers to growth, inadequate broadband comes up time and time again, which is why have consistently lobbied for 5G and improved 4G connectivity for our South Holland members to support their businesses.

“Home to the largest UK fresh produce importing and logistics businesses, who work in real time to deliver product to the major supermarkets, makes improved connectivity and faster broadband paramount to sustain the supply chain operationally.

“But not only is it for businesses that are here now, it is vital if we are to attract businesses to invest in the county and make South Holland their new home.”

Lightspeed hopes to begin installing its faster internet connections this year.

A separate scheme from Pinchbeck-based Ark ICT Solutions could also provide faster internet using wireless technology - ensuring those properties not in towns are still able to get quicker speeds.

More than one project to look at broadband

Spalding is still in line to get full-fibre broadband from Openreach - as well as from a project announced last week.

Lightspeed Broadband has announced plans to install gigabit broadband connections in Spalding, Holbeach and Long Sutton.

However, the Spalding Guardian understands that this will be as well as - and not instead of - existing plans to upgrade the network.

Openreach, which manages the nation’s broadband infrastructure, said it doesn’t yet have a date for upgrading connections in Spalding - but it is working now in Stamford, Bourne and Sleaford.

A spokesman for communications regulator Ofcom said: “Network competition has helped full fibre coverage increase at its fastest ever rate over the last couple of years. We want as much of the country as possible to have a choice of networks. Our regulations are designed to support this, by encouraging a range of companies to roll out their own faster networks.

“Competitors’ new networks will be available alongside Openreach’s network, which is used by the likes of BT, Sky and TalkTalk. So people will still have the choice of those providers, as well as any new network that is built.

“This competition is driving Openreach to ramp up the rollout of its own full-fibre network to 20 million households in the next few years, replacing its old copper one. And more than half the country have access to Virgin Media’s ultrafast network, which the company continues to expand. So millions of customers are getting access to better broadband.”

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